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It’s So Beautiful When the Boy Smiles

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“Are you falling asleep?”

“Probably.”

“It’s past our bedtimes.”

“I'm not ready to let go just yet.”

“I know the feeling.”

Jason and Emily were sitting in the hallway close to midnight. The apartment was quiet and they were in their usual spot, the wall between Jason’s bedroom and the bathroom. It was Friday but tonight was even more special…it was Valentine’s Day. Jason took Emily out on a date. They went to the American University Theater for a showing of Sliding Doors. After that it was a great little café called The Coffee Klatch.

The young couple spent their evening holding hands, talking, and enjoying each other’s company. Emily hardly wanted it to end. They didn’t go out on dates very often. Between schoolwork and family stuff, the frivolity of teenage dating came last. Not tonight though. Tonight, Emily relished being first on Jason’s list.

“Emily?”

“Yes?” she lifted her head from his shoulders and smiled.

“Will you be my valentine?”

“Mmm, let me think about it.”

“Oh really?”

Emily giggled, leaning to kiss him. The kisses were soft, sweet, and then passionate. Jason caressed her face, stroking her cheeks as he deepened their kisses. Emily sighed and rested her forehead on Jason’s after the kisses ended. He kissed her nose.

“I’ll always be your valentine.” She whispered. “Tonight was amazing.”

“It would be nice if we could go out more often, just the two of us. I know I'm not very romantic, but…”

“Stop it.” Emily shook her head. “Why do you do that?”

“What?”

“Self deprecate?”

“I read somewhere that girls find brooding men more attractive.” Jason replied.

“Please tell me you're joking.”

“I am.” He broke out the rare full grin. It was one of the most beautiful things Emily had ever seen. “I did read it somewhere though.”

“Its not true.” she said. “At least it’s not for me, though I surely can't be the voice of all women. I think it’s true in the movies. This is not the movies.”

“If this were the movies…”

“If this were the movies, we’d be making love right now.”

“Katya…” Jason teased her lips with his. If only she knew how hard it was for him, to just walk away from her kisses and her touch. Sometimes he had to ball up his fists and practically run. Even if he could tell her that, Jason didn’t think his words would be enough. He was in love with her and that still boggled his mind.

One thing that he was always aware of was that she was just 15 years old. She would be 16 in 8 months and possibly demand changes to their chaste relationship. Jason would cross that hurdle when it came…and it was coming. For now, playing it safe was in everyone’s best interest.

Except suddenly, as she turned and put one leg over his, one leg behind him, and her arms around his neck, Jason didn’t feel safe at all. He felt weightless and dizzy. “That might be so in a rated R film.” He cleared his throat. “Let’s discuss the PG-13 version.”

“Oh we’d still be making love.” Emily’s fingers tickled the curls on the nape of his neck. “It just would’ve faded to black after the first passionate kiss.”

“Sadly, I can't refute that.”

“I win.” She kissed him, moaning softly against him. She felt Jason shiver and knew what their closeness was doing to him. Emily knew what it did to her. Just once she wanted him to let go and belong to her. It wasn’t easy in a houseful of people.

Even in the hallway close to midnight they could be interrupted by a kid, or a Hotch, who had to use the bathroom. To be alone, for even an hour, would be a miracle. Teenagers took it for granted, that special time when mom and dad were at work and they could sneak their boyfriend or girlfriend upstairs for hanky panky. That time didn’t exist in Emily’s universe.

Even if it did she wasn’t sure Jason would ever go pass kissing. Lindsay said it was first base. Emily dreamed of the day when they would go to second. It surely wouldn’t be tonight and there was no use pushing. “Tell me what I won.”

“Well…” Jason pulled a small box from the pocket of his khakis.

“Oh Jason.” Emily covered her mouth. “You didn’t have to do this.”

“What? It’s Valentine’s Day; what kind of schmuck doesn't buy his girlfriend a present today.”

“Actually, its February 15th now.” she said with a cheeky grin.

“Oh, well I guess I can put this away till next year.”

“Gimme.” Emily reached for the box and Jason gave it to her. She couldn’t stop smiling as she opened it. He bought her a pair of diamond post earrings. “They're beautiful, Jason.”

“It’s just a little something. I didn’t want the day to go by without showing you how I felt. I mean, not that material things show you how I really feel. Still, there are gift requirements for certain holidays so…”

Emily quieted him with a kiss. He was sweet but sometimes he tended to ramble, especially when he was nervous. Jason melted into the kiss. He stroked her cheek with a tenderness he hardly knew he was capable of.

“It’s never required, Jason, not with me. These are beautiful but just being able to have a little evening to ourselves was amazing.”

He smiled, kissing her once more. It was time to say goodnight now. If they didn’t put a cap on the evening, Jason wasn’t going to want to let go. He stood and then helped Emily off the floor. The hug they shared was sweet; Jason let the fragrance of the Love’s Baby Soft she wore surround him.

“I love you.” he whispered in her ear.

“I love you too. Sweet dreams.”

Jason nodded, pulling himself away from her and going into his bedroom. Emily went into the bathroom. She opened the window and pulled a clove out of the secret pack she kept in her toiletry bag. Lighting it, she shivered against the biting winter wind. She wanted to call Lindsay so bad and talk about what an amazing night she had.

Lindsay had gone out with John Blackwolf, who she insisted was not her boyfriend but an awesome guy nonetheless. Emily wondered what happened between them tonight. She wondered if they went a lot further than first base and if she’d got a nice gift. Smiling, she pulled the strip of photographs out of her jeans pocket. Jason was the one who saw the photo booth outside of the coffee shop.

What a novel idea, he said as he pulled Emily inside. It was worth the $2 to have photo evidence of their first Valentine’s Day together. When the four photos shot out, she blew them dry and then ripped them in half. He wore a big smile in the two Emily owned. Jason didn’t smile much. She knew it wasn’t because he wasn’t happy; it was just the way it was.

He was a serious-minded boy and she loved him just the way he was. That didn’t mean that Emily wouldn’t look at these pictures every time she got the chance. She would remember the feeling, the day, and the way she always brought out that sweet smile in that serious boy. He brought out so many things in her as well. One day Emily would be able to show him how much this amazing relationship meant to her. For now she would just hold on to the moments. She and Jason could capture everything in just a few special moments.

***